How often I feel that the struggle to save Jeju Island from a navy base is emblematic of our struggle all over the planet to preserve Earth as a place where humans can live, and to resist its destruction by powerful, wealthy interests served by their police and their armies.
An artist-activist whom I deeply respect and always enjoy working with, Natasha Mayers, shared this letter from a Jeju activist reporting on the outcome of the environmental conference that just ended there. And I'm sharing it here because it so beautifully expresses the slogan we sometimes hear chanted on marches or at Occupy events? "Ain't no power like the power of the people, 'Cause the power of the people don't stop! (Say what?)" Put another way, the power of art and creativity are with the 99%. As is the love.
as you all know by now we did not get the Gangjeong motion 181 passed.
Which to be honest was a little expected as knew it would be hard to the
government votes. But still as you saw from the numbers, the NGOs
overwhelmingly voted for us and almost no one voted from the governments
and we even got 20 in support from governments! And we have overcome
enormous obstacles, oppression and harrassment and made many many new
friends who worked insanely hard for us and for whom we are incredibly
grateful. The IUCN itself may be a corrupt, corporate/government sellout
monster, but inside it are many truly amazing and wonderful people.
Especially awesome are our lawyers from Center for Humans and Nature,
our many supporters for latin and south america, and many other people
many of whom i couldn't even meet or don't know the names of, but did
No doubt the korean government/navy will spin this in their favor,
as they would anything really, but really this is a victory for us. We
got so much more support than ever before, so many new people and
organizations and lawyers and politicians, and media, from so many
different countries around the world know about us and support us 100%.
And many of them have said this is not the end, and they are going to
continue this work both within the IUCN and through other ways, around
We are all truly grateful to so many awesome people who really came together and worked incredibly hard day and night.
We feel so cared about and know that we are not alone here.
There are people who care about justice in the world.
There are people who care about the environment and the earth.
There are people who work with their hearts and fight for truth.
There are still people who have not sold themselves to greed and power, and become liars and slaves.
We will not give up! We will not stop! Our cause is just! Everyone in the world must know the Gangjeong struggle! We may lose 1,000 meaningless battles, but we will continue on. You can keeping locking us in prison, You can keep deporting us and denying our entry to korea, you can can keep beating us as you do daily, you can keep treating us like criminals and animals, you can keep mocking us as you destroy all that is precious about life. We will continue to dance! We will continue to sing! And we will love each other, our community, and even you, our enemies, with all of our hearts! And maybe one day you will join us, as many already have, and as we join in solidarity with so many other similar struggles around the world.
Samsung, Daelim, Hired Thugs, Police, Coast Guard, Courts, Judges, ROK Navy, Ministry of Defense, U.S. Navy, Politicians, ROK Government, U.S. Government: You've fought for greed and for power, through violence, lies, and theft. You've already lost because you've lost yourself. We do not fight to win, we fight because we've already won. Peace has already won. We are just here to shout it from the streets!
No Naval Base! Justice for Gangjeong! Life and peace for all creatures of the Earth!
Sign a petition to Samsung and the government of South Korea here.